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Convene Magazine report on the exhibition industry’s need for different events

by on August 22, 2017 in Events & Awards, Latest News, Lead Article, Lead story, News you can use

Center for Exhibition Industry Research, CEO Cathy Breden tells exhibition organisers to experiment with different models – there will be different ways for people to come together in the future.

Regular readers of theMarketingblog will be familiar with the regular praise we heap on the hospitality and catering industry news media owner H&C News. As media owners ourselves, we admire the way they seem to read into what their market needs rather than just report on it.

When social media was still emerging in B2B media, despite B2C having grasped it years previously, H&C News were hosting roundtables and taking them around the country, measuring, reporting and talking social media with the thought leaders in their industry.

Regular readers will also know that we are fans of the US based Convene Magazine, the leading events and meetings industry publication. We particularly value their insightful opinion pieces looking at how events are performing and changing.

In David McMillin’s recent article ‘How The Economy Is Affecting B2B Exhibitions in 2017’ he interviews Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) CEO Cathy Breden.

Center for Exhibition Industry Research, CEO Cathy Breden

Following reviewing substantial economic data reported in the article Breden states:

“But that doesn’t mean that trade shows will always look the same. A number of people are beginning to experiment with different models. There will be different ways for people to come together in the future.”

Now, just as the leading events and meetings industry publication is reporting on change, H&C News seems to be implementing it, in the shape of H&C EXPO.

If you take a careful look at how the H&C EXPO event is being brought to market, both its structure and component parts are clearly is breaking the mould, disruptive even.

The launch partners reflect the range of businesses H&C EXPO is looking to bring together, not just exhibitors. The dragon’s den event is genius! A B2B event held at the world famous Celtic Manor that hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup and is now of course hosting the H&C EXPO Charity Golf Day.

What we like most however is the ability of the organisers to read the market and what it needs, or as Breden says, experiment with different models and different ways for people to come together.

We wanted to know more so we spoke with Mark Harris, Event Director at H&C EXPO who told us:

Mark Harris, Event Director at H&C EXPO

“At the heart of the hospitality and catering industry is the provision of guest experience, hosting and providing customers with food, drink, entertainment and a good night’s sleep. So, we needed to find a venue that typifies excellence in the provision of guest experience, we are privileged to be hosting H&C EXPO at the Celtic Manor.

Once we had a venue that typifies hospitality and catering excellence we then needed to look at how we can create an event that takes the customer first. What I mean by this is simply organising an event from the customer’s perspective.

Our customers come into two categories, firstly the visitor and secondly the exhibitor.

Some may raise an eyebrow at this statement as the exhibitors pay to attend and take part needing to create a return on that investment.

Our focus and prioritisation of creating an event for their customer’s, our visitor’s is designed to achieve the best possible return on investment for exhibitors. By putting their customer’s first we create an event that works for both.

The visitors to many exhibitions attend to take in one part of the event, but are made to walk through the exhibition hall to do anything and everything. An inconvenience for the visitor that most if not all will have worked out why they are made to do this. This being to walk past lots of exhibitor stands to create the impression of footfall. Who really benefits from that and don’t we all know exactly what is going on? Please…

We have created several event areas within H&C EXPO but all are independent as well as being linked. So, from the visitor’s perspective they chose what they want to do without having to walk through any other event areas.

The visitors return on investment to attend H&C EXPO is in their time, we need to respect that.

The exhibition hall hosts the exhibitors and nothing else, no confusion, no smoke and mirrors, the visitors to the exhibition hall are solely interested in procurement.

It’s not so different but it is very different, we enable people to conduct their business as they choose at the event, and the early feedback from visitors and exhibitors is very positive.

  • A golf day adds some fun and importantly raises money for two charities that encourage and enable people to enter our industry and develop their skills.
  • A dragon’s den artisan food and drink event enables live buying and selling to take place and showcases sales and buying skills in action.

We are looking to do things differently because nothing stands still in business and our industry deserves the best.”

Speaking with Mark you sense that change is on the way for events in the hospitality and catering industry and he seems to know how to deliver it. We will be attending and taking in H&C EXPO next July and will see over three days how it is received.

Launch event announces UK Hospitality and Catering Exhibition


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